Residents of Durham are sounding the alarm over proposed development near Eno River Park ::


– A deadline is fast approaching for the public to share their thoughts on a development project in Durham. The project would build hundreds of townhouses at West Point in the Eno River Municipal Park.

Neighbors are worried about the impact that development could have on their quality of life and the environment.

The West Point on the Eno is considered a treasure for thousands of people who visit it each year. Those who live nearby have been fighting for several years so that this treasure does not become what they call an environmental nightmare.

“There is nothing more vital to the health of the river than this particular ridge,” said Jessica Sheffield, executive director of the Eno River Association.

The Black Meadow Ridge sits on the edge of West Point on the Eno River. Currently, for Tim Hill, it is a few steps from his home.

“You know, I moved here from Chicago and West Point on Eno was the first place I really fell in love with when I moved here,” he said. “I think it’s a staple and an institution in Durham.”

He was alarmed to learn that 60 acres of forest and nature could soon be wiped out to become around 400 homes and townhouses. So he joined a fight to stop it.

“There is no buffer zone in the city park. It’s built at the highest density on the Eno River in total, “he said.” It could be a lot less dense and it could be a lot more environmental[ly] conscientious.”

The map of the proposed location shows that it would be almost a mile of townhouses on the southern border of the city park. A neighborhood association of North Durham residents called Save Black Meadow Ridge has filed a petition, raising money for legal support and writing emails to city leaders against the development.

“It would have an impact on pollution. This would have an impact on the traffic. It would have noise impacts, ”Sheffield said. “We do not yet know the extent of the impact of the flooding that this would have in this park. We are doing everything we can to slow or stop this together. “

Hill said there were questions about whether the site’s original development plans should have been approved in the first place. As the homebuilder awaits permit approval from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the community has one last chance to bring forward concerns.

“This is just not the right place for it. Durham needs housing, yes. Durham needs townhouses, yes. It’s not the eco-friendly place to build these townhouses, ”Sheffield said.

The deadline for submitting public comments on this development project is Thursday.

If approved, the group plans to use the funds raised only for the developer’s land.


Sara H. Byrd

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